Friday, August 1, 2008

Tomatoes Are My Friends

With all the talk about cucumbers, corn, and melons, I've neglected to update you on the status of the tomatoes. None have died. In fact, they are all producing like crazy. Actually, the grape tomato plant has grown so tall that the newest flowers reach the bottom of our tall deck.

Below: The grape tomato and the new flowers... Up high in the sky.

The grape tomato has exploded in size, and the number of baby tomatoes growing on the plant is phenomenal. There are just so many ones growing, and I'm so excited about it. The only problem that I have with this plant is that the tomatoes all ripen at different cycles, so I only get a small harvest every few days. I would love to get a huge harvest (a store-sized carton), but alas, my plant does not want to cooperate. Nevertheless, I am still psyched about all the new tomatoes that are growing.

Below: Lots and lots of grape tomatoes.
Below: Keep in mind, this following photo is not sideways. The grape tomato plant has grown so large that this is one branch that has grown over half of the square foot garden box. It has extended so far that it is almost at the edge of the box!

It's strange because the cherry tomatoes have not been as successful as the grape. The cherry tomato plant does have baby tomatoes growing, but it is not growing at the same rate as the grape. I thought the cherry tomato would be just as bountiful, but alas, it is not. Oh well. I'm enjoying the ones that are growing on the plant.

Below: Cherry tomato plant

The cherry tomatoes that we have are a little bit larger than the grape tomatoes. They both taste just delicious when we eat them, so I'm satisfied either way. I love having delicious tomatoes in the summer. It won't be the same this winter when all my plants die and I'm stuck with going to the grocery store to buy bland-tasting tomatoes that could possibly be tainted by e.coli. LoL.

Below: The newest harvest of cherry and grape tomatoes
By the way, I did listen to everyone's advice and I stopped pruning the tomato plants. I've just cut off any of the diseased, yellow, or dead leaves. But other than that, I've just let the plant grow and flourish. They have all done beautifully since I've stopped my overzealous pruning efforts. LoL. Just letting you know! :-)

The larger tomato varieties are growing nicely, but we haven't had a harvest in several weeks. Still, they are growing and we have several tomato candidates that I'm looking forward to. Thankfully, birds have stayed away from the tomatoes lately. I think its because the foliage of the zucchini has prevented them from spotting any of my tomatoes. Hopefully, this will continue to be the case. If not, I will be pretty steamed.

Below: Big Boy Tomatoes...

Below: Rutledge Tomatoes

Below: I think this is the Whopper tomato. It is the largest of the big varieties. I'm most excited about this one!

And finally, I end with a wild kitten on the hunt.

Oh, by the way, I let her outside yesterday while I was tending the garden, and she climbed, not ONE, but TWO trees. I had to yell at her to get down before she climbed down. She is getting too wild... Only three months old, and I may need to invest in a pet GPS.


tina said...

Tomatoes look great. I have harvested a grand total of-get ready-two! Yikes! Luka has changed a bunch.

Mick said...

Glad to see you've got a good tomato crop after all the hard work. Sometimes it's an advantage to get a steady trickle of produce from the vines rather that a whole load at once. It makes you appreciate them more IMO :-)

Good to see Luka too. Being a "cat man" myself with 3 healthy boys it's always nice to see an update.

Cindy said...

DP ~ Your tomatoes look GREAT! I'm still waiting for my first red grape / cherry but at least my plants are not dead this year (the past 2 years I lost all my plants to disease).
I can't believe Luka listened to you to come down from the trees. Our cat never listens - haha.

lola said...

dp your tomatoes look delicious even green. I know you are on pins & needles waiting for them to get ripe. My tomatoes did not do well at all. Haven't got the first one that was fit to eat. Worms got into my squash & killed them all so no squash. Just a bad yr. all around for garden here.
Luka sure has grown. Doesn't look like the same kitty.

Skeeter said...

Lola, the Garden experience has been a bit disappointing for me also. But some rewards...

Wait until Luka climbs a tree and does not come down! lol... Before my kitties were indoor only girls, my Cheetah girl was such a climber. We gave her the name Cheetah because she had a cute monkey face and with the climbing like a monkey, we named her after Tarzans monkey Cheeta... She now climbs her Monkey tree in the house and we call her Monkey more then Cheetah! lol...

Same thing is happening to our tomatoes. Get one here and one there and very small. We expect small with the Romas but not with the Goliath! But hey as disappointing as the garden started out for us, we are happy to harvest anything not matter how small...

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Tina- Wow, two tomatoes is better than zero, don't ya think? Maybe more will come later in the summer. And yep, Luka is growing very quickly. I think she has tripled her size (or even more) since I got her. She's growing into a full, adult cat... *sniffs* I wish she could be small forever.

Hi Mick, at least with all the green tomatoes, I can look forward to having more tomatoes throughout August! Your cats are so adorable, and I love posting pictures and updates on Luka. If only she would stay still for a good photo... She's too fast for the camera.

Hi Cindy, I'll keep my fingers crossed for your tomatoes. Sorry to hear about your bad luck in the past with them. Maybe this year is the year! And Luka doesn't always listen to me, just when she's in the mood to. Like all cats, right? She has a mind of her own sometimes.

Hi Lola,I'm sorry to hear about your bad luck with the tomatoes this year. Maybe next year will be better. But keep an eye on your plant. I had one big boy tomato plant that was sluggish at first, and finally after 3 months of growing and no fruit, it has started to fruit. I haven't had much luck with my zucchini this year either. Well, I hope next year is a better garden year for you. I hate all the pests that like to munch on the vegetables before you get a chance. Luka is growing very quickly. I'm sad because soon, she won't be a kitten anymore. She'll be a full-grown cat. Sadness. She used to be so tiny, and I could pick her up with one hand... not the case any longer, sadly.

Hi Skeeter, I hope that Luka does not climb a tree. I'll have to call the fireman or somebody. Who do you call nowadays if your cat gets caught in a high tree? LoL. I know the firemen used to do it, or that's what i see on TV anyway. LoL. Luka is pretty much an indoor cat, but I let her outside if I'm working in the garden. She likes to be near me, so I can keep my eye on her. Your Cheetah girl sounds like a fun and fiesty little cat! I bet she is a handful!

Sorry to hear about your Goliath not turning out very large. We have some Bonnie Originals, and I thought they were going to be large tomatoes, but they are actually pretty small. We have a Roma plant too, and the fruit on it is pretty big, but still none are ready for harvest yet.

At least you are getting a harvest. Let's dwell on the positive, right?! :-)

Carole said...

I don't know, DP, your tomatoes are looking a lot like mine did just about one month ago, and now we are swimming in tomatoes! I gave two bags of 30 each away the other day and this weekend I'll have at least as much.
We even bought a little ten dollar food processor to see if we could make some salsa!
I say get ready for the bounty.

MSM said...

What an awesome garden; you are really making me jealous. . . . : )

Susie said...

D.P. Your tomatoes look fantastic!!! What type of fertilizer are you feeding them. Remember, fried green tomatoes are great too!

p.s. Come to my blog for a little surprise.

Gail said...

Delicious looking tomatoes! I am getting mine from the Produce Place or the Farmers Market in Franklin! It would b delightful to get them from my garden!

We decided to keep our cat an indoor cat...the coyotes are way to clever and have captured many neighborhood kitties. Don't mean to scare you but make you aware of the predators out there.


Dawn said...

Hi Dp, You will be swimming! Esp with grape and cherry, all the tomatoes look wonderful, so does Luka!

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Carole, I'm so glad to hear that! I hope that I'm as lucky as you to have such an amazing bounty. How many tomato plants do you have in your garden? Good luck with the salsa. I'm sure it will turn out just delicious! Did you grow any peppers along with your tomatoes? I hope to make some salsa later this month. We have one jalapeno pepper in the garden, but hopefully more will come!

Hi MSM-Thank you for visiting and for your comment.

Hi Susie, I just used some sort of organic plant food that I got a Lowe's. Oh yes, fried green tomatoes, how yummy! I'm so excited.

Hi Gail, Yikes about the coyotes in your neighborhood. Luckily, Luka doesn't have to worry about that. The only thing she has to worry about is the birds. We don't have much wild animal life around here, just the birds and snakes. We also live in a subdivision, so the wild animals aren't ever a problem. Plus, I'm always watching her when she's outside, and she is only out when I'm out to watch her. So she's a pretty safe kitten. :-)

Hi Dawn, Oh good, I will be so excited when I start swimming in tomatoes and have to give them away. Thanks about your comment about Luka. She thanks you :-)

John said...

Your tomatoes look awesome. I bet that soon you will be getting more ripe ones than you can eat. Your cat is very cool also. Mine too likes to help me garden. Well, honestly he likes to come outside with me and sleep under a nearby chair while I garden.

Carole said...

Hey again DP.
I had 14 seeds... they all did well, so 14 plants.
This is why I took your advice to read square foot gardening! Next year 2 tomato plants.
We found a salsa recipe and it's waaay too spicey. We needed about half the jalapeno we used.
We have red pepper plants, but no peppers there yet. Sweet peppers are my next blog topic. HUGE! Lots of 'em. I need a stuffed pepper recipe.
More kitty pictures please!

Daphne said...

Thats what I need to keep the chipmunks aways from my tomatoes, a nice cat. The dog just isn't stealthy enough.